One month ago, a video of surfaced on YouTube showing a child who died after being injured on the popular Peloton Tread+ exercise machine. After it went viral, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned consumers about the equipment's potential danger. Though Peloton resisted a recall of the treadmill, reports of other injuries and negative flak seem to have caused the fitness company to change its tune.
In a statement released April 17, the CPSC said there had been multiple incidents where small children or pets were injured beneath a Tread+ machine. To date, that initial count of 39 incidents and one death has increased to 72 reports of children, animals, and other objects being pulled underneath the machine.
“CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death. In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately,” the CPSC's first statement read.
The agency released a disturbing video last month of a child getting sucked under the treadmill. The child was able to get out.
One incident occurred while a parent was running on the treadmill, which means that the hazard can’t be avoided by simply locking the device when it isn't in use, according to the CPSC.
If Tread+ users have children or pets in the home, the CPSC recommends that they discontinue using the equipment or, at the very least, use it only in a locked room. They also recommend keeping all objects, including exercise balls and other exercise equipment, away from the treadmill.
Peloton will recall the Tread+ treadmill after first downplaying the risk.
In response to the CPSC's statement in April, Peloton released an initial statement calling the claims “inaccurate and misleading.” The company made no mention of a recall on the Tread+ at that time.
“There is no reason to stop using the Tread+, as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed,” said the release. “Children under 16 should never use the Tread+, and members should keep children, pets, and objects away from the Tread+ at all times.”
However, amid growing reports of injuries, Peloton will now recall the treadmill. Tread+ owners can get a full refund from Peloton so long as they apply by Nov. 6, 2022.
Company officials have also encouraged users to remove the treadmill’s safety key when it isn't in use.
Peloton officials said that they were “shocked and devastated” upon learning of a child’s death during use of their treadmill and reported the incident to the CPSC.
After the child’s death, Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley sent a message to Tread+ members urging them to follow the critical warnings and safety instructions accompanying the equipment, according to Peloton officials.
“Members have also shared other ways to keep children safe during home workouts. They schedule workouts during nap time or at night when children are asleep. Or they have a spouse or partner watch the children in another room. Some tell the company they use a baby gate to keep children, pets, and objects away from their fitness equipment,” said Peloton in a statement.